Judge rules in favor of SF’s ranked-choice voting system

Just in time for election season, a federal judge has ruled that the ranked-choice voting system, which San Francisco has used since 2004, is perfectly legal.

San Francisco’s elections law was challenged earlier this year when Sunset district resident Ron Dudum, who narrowly lost to embattled former Supervisor Ed Jew during the 2006 election for the Board of Supervisors, filed a lawsuit charging that the system’s limitation to three ranked choices violated the U.S. Constitution.

The ruling was issued by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Seeborg on Sept. 9, concluding that while the current voting system does “exert some burden on voting rights, it is not severe.” The complaint alleges that under the system implemented in 2004 thousands of voters during elections are denied the right to vote “once his or her three ranked candidates are eliminated from contention.”

Under the system, voters rank the top three candidates they would most like to see in office. When votes are counted, any candidate who gets more than 50 percent of first-choice votes is the winner. If no one gets that many votes, the candidate who got the fewest first-choice votes is eliminated and the votes of people who ranked that person first then go to their No. 2 choice.

esherbert@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsGovernment & PoliticsPoliticsUnder the Dome

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A health care worker receives one of the first COVID-19 vaccine doses at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on Tuesday Dec. 15, 2020. (Courtesy SFgov)
SF to open three large sites for COVID-19 vaccinations

Breed: ‘We need more doses. We are asking for more doses’

Tongo Eisen-Martin, a Bernal Heights resident, named San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Tongo Eisen-Martin becomes San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate

Bernal Heights resident Tongo Eisen-Martin has become San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate.… Continue reading

Homeless people's tents can be seen on Golden Gate Avenue in the Tenderloin on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 16, 2020. (Photo by Ekevara Kitpowsong/S.F. Examiner)
Statewide business tax could bring new funds to combat homelessness

San Francisco could get more than $100 million a year for housing, rental assistance, shelter beds

The Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco (a mural by artist Jamie Treacy is pictued) has a lineup of free online programming including activities for youngsters scheduled for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 18. (Courtesy Demetri Broxton/Museum of the African Diaspora)
Stanford, Museum of the African Diaspora host MLK Day activities

Online offerings include films, music, discussion

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi presides the US House of Representatives vote on the impeachment of US President Donald Trump at the US Capitol, January 13, 2021, in Washington, DC. - The Democrat-controlled US House of Representatives on January 13 opened debate on a historic second impeachment of President Donald Trump over his supporters' attack of the Capitol that left five dead. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)
House votes 232-197 to impeach Trump a second time

Focus shifts to Senate, where McConnell has signaled he may not stand by president

Most Read